North Comes 5th in World Maths Competition

Kim Tae Hong  |  2013-08-05 11:41
North Korean students won two gold medals and four silver medals at the recent 54th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in Santa Marta, Colombia, Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) noted in a report on the 3rd.

The result mirrors the country’s best ever finish in the international competition for gifted mathematicians.

In a brief dispatch, KCNA revealed, “The Olympiad, held in Colombia from July 18th to 28th, brought together more than 520 students from 97 countries and regions. They competed in problems of geometry, algebra, combination and theory of numbers. Students of Pyongyang Secondary School No. 1 got high appreciation for satisfactorily solving problems.”

The gold medals were won by Hong Chung Song and Pak Ji Hyon, about whom no further details were provided. North Korea ranked 5th overall behind winners China, then South Korea, the U.S.A, and Russia.

The IMO has been held almost every year since 1959 for the purpose of discovering and nurturing mathematical talent, and building relations between young, gifted students and world mathematicians.

However, North Korea has only been competing regularly since 2007. North Korean students came 5th in 2009, 7th in 2011 and 12th last year. In 2010 the country was disqualified.
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